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Which clippings match 'Aid' keyword pg.1 of 1
09 AUGUST 2009

Prisoners of a White God: Akha culture under attack

"This documentary explicitly reveals under cover work of missionary agencies and individuals in the destruction of an ethnic group, the Akha people of South East Asia. It is a picture of evil cloaked in righteousness. Evangelical missionaries come with the Good News of the Gospel, and aid for the poverty stricken mountain people. The reality is division, destruction of family core groups, human rights violations, displacement, forced relocation, theft of land, cultural genocide, racism and power of a majority people group over the indigenous group.
...
[Tomáš] Ryška does an excellent job presenting the contrast of hypocrisy and wealth of the missionary, aid, food and clothing, the underworld of child trafficking versus the appearance of cleanliness and holiness, worship done the 'right' way, versus the 'pagan way.' He contrasts land theft, greed for the rich mountain resources, good business versus God's service. He uncovers the fear of eternal punishment versus the joys of heaven, fear of death threats for those who dare expose evil that dwells in the fundamentalist Christian missionary centres, corruption versus holiness, forced relocation, illness, depression, malaria, and prison camps in the lowlands for the unfortunate mountain people. It is colonization all over again."
(Akha Heritage Foundation)

TAGS

2008aid • Akha • autonomyChristiancommunitycorruptioncultural heritage • disempowerment • documentaryethicsethnicity • ethnocide • exploitationfaithFirst NationsfundamentalismglobalisationimperialismIndigenousIndigenous communitiesLaos • missionaries • missionarypagan • Prisoners of a White God • religionsocial changeSouth-East AsiaspiritualityThailand • Tomas Ryska • traditiontraffickingtransformationvillager

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
14 NOVEMBER 2008

Viewing the poor through Western eyes

"In global campaigns on issues like landmines, trade, medicines or small arms, international non–governmental organisations (NGOs) face dilemmas of control. How much of the management and publicity of a campaign should they keep and how much should they give away?
...
Interational NGOs (INGOs) are often the intellectual originators of campaigns. They are also some of the few global organisations with the requisite money, sophistication, media expertise and brand recognition to run a global campaign. For efficiency's sake, they need to drive global campaigns.

In countless NGO communications, civil society heroes from Asia and Africa are presented as dependent second class citizens, defined primarily by their relationship to the international NGO.

Pioneering local campaigners are introduced as an "Oxfam partner" or a "CARE project". There is a colonial echo here in the implication that it is really INGOs who are saving the situation as the primary movers and shakers.

Part of the reason for this kind of post–colonial choreography by INGOs is because they are still required to be the visual mediators of the poor world to the rich world.

In Western society, our INGOs are inter–cultural gatekeepers. They know both worlds and report the one to the other."

(Hugo Slim, 30 Apr 2007)

TAGS

aidappealbrandingcharityconflictcrisisdevelopment • disaster relief • emergency relief • globalisation • humanitarian aid • internationalNGOnon-profitpost-colonialisationpovertyrefugeereliefrepresentation • Reuters

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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